Tony Bloom’s Multiple Sclerosis Story

tony-bloom-msThere’s a lot that has been said about businessman-investor and football club chairman Tony Bloom. He’s one of the more notable figures in the investment and sports world that his name has been attached to risks and success, in that order. But that’s not what we’re about to discuss today. We’re here to tell the story of Tony and his affair with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Multiple Sclerosis is a rare degenerative condition that affects the central nervous system. It’s a crippling disease that can prove difficult to diagnose given that their severity and symptoms can vary from one patient to the other.

What happens is the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system. When a threat enters the body, it couldn’t differentiate them from the good cells and often end up damaging the nerves in the process. As this happens, the flow of information from the brain to and from the rest of the body is affected. Either the message does not arrive or it takes too long. For this reason, many bodily functions tend to fail for patients with MS.

To name some of the more common symptoms, there’s muscle spasms, muscle stiffness, numbness, vision problems, balance issues, memory loss, bladder problems, difficulty in moving one’s limbs, slurring, speech problems among others. Additionally, these can be coupled with several mental health issues such as anxiety and depression since MS tends to take away the ability to do the simplest of tasks from a person. As mentioned, the severity, frequency and combination of these symptoms vary from patient to patient. Others can have it worse. Some may experience them gradually and others all at once.

Despite today’s technological advancements, it’s one of those conditions that have no cure. There are treatments available but rather than remove the illness for good, it only works to lessen the impact of the symptoms, deter the relapses and prolong the life of the patient for as much as possible.

Tony Blooms wife of several years, Linda Bloom, who is an Australian-born psychologist has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis more than a decade ago. She’s been at her worst state but has managed to recuperate and take control of her condition after years of treatment and a lifestyle change.

Linda and Tony Bloom sought to help other patients that they established the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Foundation in 2011. They wanted to help them make better and informed decisions about their condition and that this battle is one fought together never alone.

What Tony Bloom does aside from Football

Tony Bloom, chairman of the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, is a jack of all trades. Apart from standing as the club’s “father” since 2009 after succeeding Harry Dick Knight on the chairmanship, he’s been juggling a lot of roles prior and even more so afterwards. Care to find out what they are? Here, take a look.

  • Business and Investments

With his degree in mathematics and stint as an options trader in accounting firm Earnest & Young, Tony has quite the background in terms of investments. With his take on smart ventures combined with his audacity in taking some of the biggest risks any entrepreneur could make, Mr. Bloom has successfully made himself one of the most profitable in his line of profession.

  • The Bloom Foundation

Earlier known as the Tony Bloom Charitable Trust, this foundation was founded in 2011. Tony together with fellow trustees Linda Bloom, Adam Franks, Marc Sugarman and Marcelle Lester had the same vision and that was to fight off poverty and end it or at least alleviate its effects especially in Europe and the developing countries in Asia and Africa. Since then, it has granted millions to various causes, projects, organizations and efforts that focus on health, education and training, livelihood and employment, food, water, safety, famine relief, overseas aide and community development among others. With its current headquarters in London, the foundation runs on voluntary pledges and donations and some investments.

  • Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis

Tony bloom overcoming msApart from the Bloom Foundation, the man also supports another cause. He is likewise a trustee to the OMS foundation, a charity set up by his psychologist wife Linda who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) more than a decade ago. The couple wishes to help patients with the same condition regain their life and make better informed decisions and lifestyle changes. MS is a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system and disrupts the flow of information within the brain and the body causing an individual to lose functionality within their body.

  • Dedicated Father and Husband

Tony Bloom, despite his business and charitable achievements, it no doubt a dedicated father to his seven year old son and a loving husband to wife Linda. Despite his busy schedule, he is said to spend considerable time with his loved ones and likewise support them of their endeavors as they do his, an example would be Linda’s OMS foundation and the fact that Tony ran the Brighton marathon twice to raise awareness for said cause.

Tony Bloom: A Timeline with the Albions

tony-bloom-brightonianAnthony Grant “Tony” Bloom is known among others to be the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman since 2009. But what many people do not realize is that his association with the club began way before his appointment. Don’t believe us? Here, take a look at this timeline.

  • 1970 – Anthony Grant or Tony Bloom was no doubt born to a family of Seagulls fans in the small seaside resort town of Brighton in the seventies. The Blooms were known to have ardently and publicly supported the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club as early here on.
  • 1970 – In the same decade, Harry Bloom, Tony’s grandfather and well-known hotel owner and motor trader, was appointed as vice-chairman of the Albions or Seagulls. The chairman at the time was Mike Bamber. This was also the period when the club reached the old first division back in 1979.
  • 1980 – As a child, Tony was often brought by family to the Goldstone Ground to watch the matches. His usual company would be his father, grandpa and brother. It was since then that he realized his passion for football was more than sport and entertainment. It was a family affair, hereditary even.
  • 1980 – A second generation of the Blooms became affiliated with the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. This time it way Harry’s son and Tony’s uncle Ray who served as the club’s director.
  • 2000 – Tony became one of the club’s major investors and stockholders. He continued to become a benefactor years after too, helping fund various projects and advocacies some of which were even out of his own pocket.
  • 2008 – One of the projects that he helped personally fund was the old Falmer’s stadium and now called the American Express Community Stadium or the “Amex”, the home of the Albions. Construction began in December of 2008 and was spearheaded by the KSS Design Group as the architectural firm and the Buckingham Group as the general contractor.
  • 2009 – Succeeding Harry Dick Knight, Tony became the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman up to the present day. It was also during the same year when he was awarded “Brightonian of the Year” for his numerous achievements and contributions.
  • 2011 – With over £93 million of construction costs, the 30,750 seater American Express Community Stadium opened its doors.
  • 2014 – Tony Bloom also helped finance the construction of the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, a training ground, which was opened only two years ago.

The Tony Bloom Charitable Trust

tony-bloom-foundation2There is more to Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom than being an investor, businessman and the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s esteemed chairman. Mr. Bloom is in fact a philanthropist and has set up a foundation that has and continues to fight poverty all over the globe aptly called the “Tony Bloom Charitable Trust”.

Anthony has had a strong will to help others in ways that he can. By building and setting up this foundation, he has found a systematic and organized way of providing help by assigning and giving grants to causes that satiate the same objectives as his.

The charity has now been renamed as the “Tony Bloom Foundation” with the same four other trustees: Linda Bloom, Marc Sugarman, Adam Franks and Marcelle Lester.

As of 2015, the charity has reported 61% resource spending for charitable activities, 1% on governance and income generation activities with the remaining 38% retained for future projects and grants. To put it in specific digits, the Bloom Foundation has reported a £3.1 million worth of income from voluntary pledges and donations and investments as well as £1.9 million worth of spending on charitable activities, governance and investment management.

In order to provide relief and solution to poverty in target areas like the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Africa, the foundation supports and grants programs that focus on health, education, livelihood, employment, food, water, safety, famine relief, overseas aide, community development and other general and charitable purposes.

All of the above has been mentioned in the foundations’ charitable objects that read: “the prevention or relief of poverty in developing countries by providing or assisting in the provision of education, training, healthcare projects and all the necessary support designed to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. To promote and protect the physical and mental health of disabled and terminally ill children and soldiers disabled or made ill by conflict. Such charitable purposes for the public benefit as are exclusively charitable under the laws of England and Wales as the trustees may from time to time determine.”

Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom is truly a man of many things: investor, entrepreneur, chairman and philanthropist. Did you know that he also helps in promoting awareness and raising funds to battle Multiple Sclerosis? Well he does but then that is a story for another day.

The Tony Bloom Foundation’s office is currently located in #34 Jamestown Road, London, NW1 7BY.